Do-It-Yourself teeth whitening solutions are fast becoming the most popular dental product world-wide. As the name suggests these products allow you to whiten your teeth at a time and place that suits you. The product range is extensive and includes whitening strips, toothpastes, mouth-rinses, bleaching pens to lightening trays. It’s a flourishing business with new products entering the market on a regular basis.
So, with a plethora of DIY whitening products to choose from, do they deliver the results they advertise? The two big selling points for DIY whitening products are convenience and affordability. You don’t need to outlay a lot of money to pick up a tube of whitening toothpaste or whitening strips in aisle 6 at the supermarket. However, the strength and type of whitening agents contained in DIY products vary greatly between brands and product type, so it pays to read the small print and compare ingredients. The percentage of whitening agent contained in the product is one indication of how effective a whitening product can be.
Another factor that will determine the product’s effectiveness is the type and severity of discolouration and staining that you have. Time to consult your dentist. Without professional advice its hard for you to determine which over-the-counter whitening product will be most effective. Some types of discolouration and staining can only be effectively removed by professional in-chair teeth whitening systems at the dentist. It’s good to know this up front as it will save you money and disappointment! This is especially important for patients with multiple fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains.
Compared to in-chair teeth whitening treatments, at-home whitening treatments often require multiple applications and still may not deliver a markedly noticeably result. That is due to the lower percentage of Hydrogen peroxide and/or Carbamide peroxide contained in these whitening products. In-chair treatments, such as Philips Zoom Whitening uses an LED light to activate the whitening agent so the whitening is more intense, controlled and faster – up to 8 shades lighter in one hour. Reputable brand whitening toothpastes can be effective in maintaining brightness after a professional teeth whitening treatment as they act to remove stains that can occur on the tooth’s external enamel.
You should definately avoid low-cost online products that carry unfamiliar brand names. You are assuming a risk every time you apply a whitening product that does not meet the relevant Australian regulatory requirements. Whitening agents with a high percentage of hydrogen and/or carbamide peroxide can be dangerous, in some cases, burn your lips and oral soft tissues.
If you want to try DIY teeth whitening products stick to reputable brands and follow the instructions. Overuse is common where the results are not immediately noticeable, so go easy when you start because certain types of whitening products, such as whitening toothpastes can be abrasive, and overuse can damage the tooth’s enamel.
The best recommendation is consult your dentist and get their advice on the most suitable solution for your specific needs – no need for trial and error when you have all the facts upfront!